Residential heating systems are a complex network of components. All of these components must work together to heat your home properly.
You probably know that you need to invest in routine maintenance for your furnace, keep your air ducts clean, and change your air filter on a regular basis. One of the components that you might not remember to maintain is the thermostat.
A thermostat acts as the brain of your home's heating system by communicating with your furnace and telling it when to turn on and off. A faulty thermostat could compromise the comfort of your home.
It's important that you become familiar with some of the signs your thermostat will exhibit when it's starting to fail so that you can replace the thermostat quickly.
Thermostat Is Unresponsive
You expect your thermostat to respond immediately whenever you adjust the temperature settings in your home. When the thermostat is unresponsive or fails to turn on, you could have a serious problem on your hands.
Start troubleshooting an unresponsive thermostat by replacing the batteries in the unit. Batteries can degrade over time, leaving your thermostat without access to a power source. If new batteries don't solve the problem, your thermostat could have electrical issues.
A short in the wiring can cause an electronic thermostat to become unresponsive. Your HVAC technician can replace the faulty thermostat with a new one that will provide greater energy efficiency and control over your heating system.
Furnace Runs Continually
Your furnace should kick on when indoor air temperatures fall below the settings on the thermostat, then turn off when the indoor air temperature has been raised above the set threshold. A furnace that is running continually can be an indication that your thermostat isn't working properly.
The thermostat sends electrical signals to the furnace. These electrical signals control the heating cycle.
A furnace that is running continually may not be receiving the electrical signals from the thermostat telling the heating cycle to end. The likely culprit is a thermostat whose wires have frayed. Instead of spending a lot of time and money trying to find a problem in the furnace, replace your thermostat when the furnace runs continually.
Program Settings Are Lost
Modern heating systems usually feature programmable thermostats. These thermostats allow you to automatically adjust the temperature setting in your home at different times of the day. One of the signs that you may need to install a new thermostat is a loss of your program settings.
A damaged thermostat can reset itself at random. This causes the information you have programmed into the thermostat to be reset as well.
Check to make sure that a dead battery didn't cause your thermostat to reset by programming your heat settings into the thermostat a second time. If the thermostat resets itself again, it's time to contact your HVAC technician to install a new thermostat that will reliably control your heating system.
Hot or Cold Spots
A thermostat that is working properly should heat your home evenly. The exception to this would be a zoned heating system, which controls the temperature of each zone in your home independently. If you don't have a zoned heating system and you are finding that there are hot or cold spots within your home, a faulty thermostat could be to blame.
Sensors in the thermostat take temperature readings of the air inside your home. Signals telling the furnace to turn on or turn off are sent by the thermostat based on the information collected by the sensors.
Hot or cold spots throughout your home can be an indication that the sensors in your thermostat are not working properly. The thermostat will need to be replaced in order to restore consistent heating within your home.
To learn more, contact a heating contractor.